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“Nice facility, nasty food” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Now Amber Puerto Vallarta

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Now Amber Puerto Vallarta
4.5 of 5 Resort   |   David Alfaro Sisqueiros 164 | Col. Zona Hotelera Las Glorias, Puerto Vallarta 48333, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #10 of 120 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Irvine, CA
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“Nice facility, nasty food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2013

I stayed here for 1 night this March. United had to cancel our flight and they put us up here. The property itself is very nice. It is new so everything is nice. The staff seems consistently great. I was really impressed by the helpfulness of everyone, especially since we were not paying for the room. The room itself was nicely appointed. The beach was really nice and the pools looked great. My soon loved how they showed a movie at night. The downside was the food. It was nasty. Gross. Upset tummy. Ew.

Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
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1,129 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (488)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Rome, Italy
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2013

There is only one small consistantly reoccuring problem at Now Amber - Morning coffee !!! (atthe breakfast buffet) - if you like your coffee strong and HOT , well be prepared to be dissappointed - it will always come TEPID and weak. It's a very minor point , but I can't understand why they don't use thermos jugs to bring the coffee (and keep it warm)...

The resort has everything, great choice of restaurants, branded bar drinks (if you ask), attentive staff . Forsome reason our room wasalwayscleaned late (but I suppose someone has to be last) Amenities even included sun cream - but the slippersdidn't fit me - then I never asked for a larger pair !.

Seems to be plenty of activities for those who want and the guys and gals running the various organised events were always happy and around to encourage participation.

If you areacouple and want to avoid the kids - you can use all the facilities in the Secrets half of the hotel ( it's the same hotel divided in two.) Secrets is strictly adults only.

Couple of silly rules about dress code in a couple of the restaurants , couldn't understand the reason - after all the restaurants are only used by residents.

Rooms are spacious, all look out to the central area ( pools and the beach) . Seaview is always available depending on your accepted definition, and only if you are Japanese (180 degrees standing directly in front of balcony window) , will you be limited to this restriction.

It seems only room difference is floor level, in Preffered Club - you also get a larger balcony with jacuzzi ( I never used), and used of small lounge with drinks and snacks.

Huge choice of eating options, had some really nice treats, but (as I live in Italy) the pasta was
- lets say - not to my pleasing..however anyone who complains must be foolish - there is such a variety, and like me .. just go for what you like. - if its not your taste - order again - they really don't put any limit on your orders it's a true AI resort. Every item on every menu (except bottles of wine)

Definately recommend, and if the manager reads this - please try ordering thermos jugs for the buffet servers to bring the coffee and hot water for tea - it will make a big difference !

Enjoy the great cocktail selections andalwaystry thebarmans or waiters drink suggestions...

Room Tip: Higher the better (view and less noise)
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013

Resort opened in March 2011. Our air conditioning in room 1255 didn't work and despite numerous attempt on our behalf, the Now Amber staff couldn't fix it, offer us a solution, etc, etc. The room temperature went up to 26 C or 79 F but the often rude front desk staff made jokes and didn't help us. We did switch rooms for 1 night but the temp was also hot in room 2359 and was extremely noisy by the elevator. A big thumbs down for the front desk especially in the evening and Marco. Concierge not much better. Location and food not bad but as a travel agent, not a 6 Golden Apple rating more like 5. If the staff could of resolved our air conditioning problem, the trip would have been fine but their incompetence and the excuses and run around my husband and I were given, ruined what should have been a relaxing vacation. BTW, I paid full price. Also, the timeshare at the resort is "tacky" for a higher end hotel. Staff needs much more training.

Room Tip: Don't have room 1255 or 2359
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Bay, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2013

My parents and I just returned from a week vacation at Now Amber PV (Feb. 24 to Mar. 3). This is only my second vacation to a resort like this, but already this was my favorite hands down! We stayed in the Now Amber side in the Preferred tower which I think was worth the upgrade.

CHECK IN - Check in was a breeze! When we first stepped out of the taxi after landing in PV, we were greeted with a cold towel and a glass of champagne. The concierge then took us over to the Preferred tower where we were quickly checked in and taken to our rooms. A note about the rooms. There are no room numbers on the doors. The room numbers are integrated into the stone work in the floor to the side of the door. Luckly we met up with my uncle and aunt down there and they had checked in before us so they knew where to look for room numbers. Just a note. We were never pressured once into attending the timeshare presentation, not sure if this is because we were preferred or not.

ROOMS - As other reviews state, all rooms face the ocean. The main buildings face it directly, preferred buildings at an angle. We were on the third floor, and we had a nice view of the ocean and of the gardens. The rooms were beautiful! I stayed in my own room, and mine had two double beds, tub, walk in shower with bench, jacuzzi tub on the balcony, and mini fridge restocked daily. We never had a problem with maid service, and was usually done by early afternoon (again the low occupancy may have been a factor). Turn down service was a nice touch (was usually done by the time we got back from supper) and they always left an itinerary of the following days events on the bed. The air conditioner worked very well here and the ceiling fan kept the air moving nicely.

FOOD - since there are no need for reservations (with the only exception being the teppenyaki tables at Himitsu) we were able to eat at the resturants at our leisure. At the time, the resort was only at about 40% capacity, so there was no waiting at any of the restaurants). We tried Bordeaux (french on the Secrets side), Oceana (steak and seafood at Secrets), Himitsu (Japanese teppenyaki), and Castaways for lunch. The shrimp tacos at Castaways are amazing! Of the a la Cartes we tried, Bordeaux was my favorite. The food was good at Himitsu, but I Was recovering from a stomach bug the day before so didnt eat a whole lot there, but the food was good. Oceana was my least favorite. Service was slow(there were not very many diners there that night) and my "ribeye" steak was very fatty and more than likely not a ribeye. Dress code is in effect for all a la cartes except Casataways and Oceana I believe. Men will be fine as long as they had closed shoes, long pants and a collered shirt (polo or button down). Doesnt need to be super dressy, a nice pair of jeans will work. Food at the buffet was ok. Some of it was good, some of it was ok, but there will be something for everyone. Cheese trays were very nice here! Just be warned, men must have a sleeved shirt for buffets. Coco Cafe was a nice touch here....I love my cappuccinos! I will admit, you won't go hungry here! Preferred guests have a small buffet in their lobby. Just a final note. Restaurants close on a rotating schedule everyday. The daily itinerary tells you which restaurants are open for each meal and whether they are adults only, and what their dress code is.

DRINKS - All top shelf liquors. Drinks were really good! I especially enjoyed the lime daqueris (especially with the Bacardi Solera rum). A lot of people enjoyed the Dirty Monkeys (made with real bananas). Coffee drinks in the Coco Cafe were a nice touch.

GROUNDS AND POOLS - The grounds were superb! Beautifully maniocured lawns, and the gardens were stunning! There are three pools to choose from; a kids only pool with water slide, a quiet pool, and the main pool with beach view and swim up bar. We sat by the main pool less than ten feet from the swim up bar. You don't need to stake out a chair early in the morning, but prime location adjacent to the pools do fill up fast. We did go down daily to get first choice of seats (And we werent the only ones). We were lucky enough to see whales from our pool one day!

STAFF - Staff here is so friendly! They are some of the most polite and personable of any hotel I've been to. Of course, tipping helps, but service was always top notch. Shout out to Rey in the preffered lobby who always had a huge smile on his face whenever you walked past, and to Omer from the pool wait staff who always remembered my liquor preference and was very fast!

THE SMALL THINGS - I admit, I like not having to make reservations or not wearing a wrist band. The cafe is a nice touch, and preferred guests have 4 oz shampoos, body wash, moisturizer and sunscreen in their rooms. I only used the sunscreen (SPF 15) and it smelled so good! For the indoor tanners out there, it smells exactly like the classic Australian Gold scent. No towel cards needed. Each lounger has a towel put on it daily, and there are towel stations around the pools replenished often. Views from the lobby are amazing!

THE CONS - Not very many, thankfully! The biggest con for me was the music at himitsu. Its very loud. So loud that we had a hard time hearing the waiters and to have conversations with those at the table. The spa looked very nice from the pictures I've seen, but prices are way too expensive. Luckly, outside the main gate, if you take a left, there are several massage parlours just a short three minute walk from the resort. All are probably about the same, but we went to Magestic Massages (not to be confused with Professional Magestic Massages), just past the farmacia. For $25 USD, you get a 75 min masage that combines aromatherapy, shiatsu, Swedish and reflexology.

All in all, this is a beautiful resort and I would not hesitate to recomend it to anyone!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maple Ridge
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

If you are looking for a place to celebrate a specific event in your life or just for that special and different experience, stay away from this one! For a standard ‘All Inclusive’ holiday you will be fine!
Positives: New hotel where even regular rooms have good views, decent food and drinks around the clock in a central beach setting, no wristbands, no reservations at their restaurants, Kids club is decent as well and will look after your kids from 9 - 10. Beautiful views from the lobby’s lounging area!

Negatives : timeshare sales is an integrated part of the hotel and will try very hard to get your money, too much concrete with very little vegetation – no reflection of anything of the warm Mexican personality – neither in the food nor the staff, it could be anywhere! Restricted use of restaurants if you travel with kids, ridiculous dress code, poor beach quality, annoying beach vendors, seriously overpriced spa, major issues with service – especially organization (I don’t want to know what happens when they are full one day), Very mediocre entertainment. Unless you can leave the resort you better like to go to bed early! Worst “private” beach dinner I’ve ever seen – your table for 2 is set between the many beach vendors and volleyball playing guests!
As said above – good for your standard one week break -as long as you get a good price! Otherwise keep searching!

The reasons why we would not go back:

The major problem of this resort – MANAGEMENT!
A true Five Star resort has a superb management who understands, that the most important task they have, is to ensure that their guests have a memorable time, no matter what. If they can get that right, they will be appreciated by even the most sophisticated guest, their desire to achieve a high standard is guaranteed and the desired guests and their money will follow naturally.

This resort is far from that level!
Systems created to make as much additional money as possible from the “all inclusive” customers ( sneaky time share concepts, gift vouchers who are designed to make you spend more than the value is, misleading advertising so you end up making upgrades , tricking you into appointments you can only cancel after intensive discussions ect. ) Tips are expected in general - not as what they are meant to be, a recognition earned for sincere service.
Simply said – a general feeling of being another tourist there just welcome for your money. A lot of the guests end up at arrival with undesired room constellations, which is a result of an intended very general description at booking, with many outs for the resort to stay flexible and charge upgrades on arrival. Being tired after long travelling it is bad enough if you arrive to something different than what you were made to believe you will receive. But it is even worth if you end up with a supervisor like Mr. Gomez, who is lacking the skill to find common sense resolutions. He obviously doesn’t understand, that every customer who arrives at their resort, has already been paying a lot of money to even be there and just wants what was expected. Instead his actions expressed his real believe, that people who complain do that with the expectation to receive some “freebies” after arrival and rip the resort off!
If you stand up for your needs and are lucky to have a common sense person at check, in your problem will be addressed and you can continue with a relaxing holiday.
Unfortunately this was not the case with us. I had booked a Junior Ocean view suite in the Preferred Club as a getaway gift for my husbands special Birthday. In a phone call prior to arrival, I was told that we can get up-graded to one of their beautiful Master Suites in exchange for the $400 resort vouchers we would receive with our booking. In addition they will decorate the room, send cake and wine and organize a private dinner on the beach, to make this a very special memory for him.
I was really excited - until I was told towards the end of the conversation, that all this would cost an additional $360 a night after redeeming our vouchers. (we were staying 10 days) . This was not in our budget we had paid already more for getting the Ocean View suite in the preferred tower. The concierge than offered to talk to the supervisor (Mr. Gomez) in the hope that he will approve the upgrade in exchange for the gift vouchers only. The hotel was at about 50% capacity anyway, so a good opportunity to be generous without any disadvantages for the resort!
After arrival we were simply told that we can be upgraded but only if we are willing to pay. An exceptional 20% discount was offered to motivate us. We decided to stay with the suite we originally booked, but unfortunately it turned out hat the view shown when booking was not what we received ( (was obviously borrowed from the Ocean Front Suites) . It was one of our most important criteria!
Of course the Master Suite offered as an upgrade did. Hours of discussions with Mr, Gomez only led to the options of either paying the hefty up - charge or getting down graded to the Standard Tower which has fabulous views but none of the other amenities and only a small balcony with no Jacuzzi.

We were told that if we don’t like the options, we can complain to Orbitz or change the hotel. He is the supervisor and the only decision maker he claimed! Tired of arguing, we took the room they gave us! 2 days later still totally disappointed, we decided that this is to special of a holiday to settle for a compromise and agreed to pay the hefty up-charge for the Master Suite .It was a very beautiful suite with a gorgeous view! A special birthday cannot be repeated and after all the stress we had experienced so far we just wanted to enjoy the remaining days and deal with the very unsatisfactory treatment later.

Another round of discussions started again between the lady on the front desk and Mr. Gomez because he now wanted to charge $160 more than originally agreed to. Another supervisor finally resolved it . After being reassured that we will be provided with sunshade for the really hot terrace of the new suite we paid and moved over. Unfortunately our troubles continued on a daily base – 1 hour after our move, we were informed that they miscalculated the amount by $80 and wanted us to pay the difference!!! (instead of a discount for the misrepresentation and trouble we had so far)!!! After ongoing promises, we ended up with no shade. The excuse – a sunbrella is too big of a liability on the 7th floor – so we were forced to move our chairs inside of the suite if we wanted to stay there during the day.
Would we have been told that sunshade is not possible there, we would not have moved into that suite (by the way – there are enough solutions available for such scenarios but they had no interest to organize that). Next we couldn’t use the pool for 2 days because of Algae build up. Only after repeated phone calls someone came to fix it - 2 more days of relaxation lost. The toilet leaked and after attempted repairs, was still leaking by the time we were leaving.
The door chain broke, the curtains fell of ect. As for the announced birthday specials, nobody ever arranged anything (not one single thing) for my husband. It was simply ignored in the same way as we were from Mr. Gomez during our entire stay.
We asked Violeta one of the concierge, to report our issues with Mr. Gomez to the upper management of the resort. She left us for our entire stay under the impression that she did. We never heard from anybody - we were really surprised, that the upper management didn’t seem to have any interest in following up. On the last day we than found out, that she never passed it on as claimed!!! The staff at the preferred tower decided to hide the problems in the expectation, that it will not follow up once we have left.
I than reported the problems personally to the upper management to Mr. Periche . He seemed to sincerely feel sorry but being our last day it was too late to fix anything but he promised to pass it on to the other manager Mr. Vargas who will contact me later. Once home, Mr. Vargas informed me about all the incredible excuses their staff came up with as an explanation to our issues and that he therefore doesn’t see any need to do anything about it.
As a courtesy for our ruined holidays (but not as compensation he emphasized) they offered us a Possible! up-grade for next time we visit – but only if they have availability!
Instead of a refund for unusable amenities, ongoing stress and a ruined birthday we are expected to come back. Despite such bad experience, we would gladly come back , pay a lot of money again , all in the hope that we might get an upgrade at no additional cost! So why would we even consider that? Maybe because we created this whole scenario on purpose, in the hope to receive a free upgrade, no matter what? And since it didn’t work the first time around, at least we might get our way the next time?! Ruining our special birthday memories is a small price to pay – right?
We travel a lot and have stayed in many high end places but have never experienced such an arrogant attitude before. Things don’t have to be perfect, but the way they are resolved speaks volumes. Until now I have never written a review before, but this was just too much.
Conclusion : If you get this hotel for a cheap price and simply want a nice holiday go there and enjoy their amenities! If you want anything more, think twice! This resort is far from the 5 Star level it wants to be - newly designed amenities and a nice decor can only go so far! Most of the negative comments are from people who chose this for a special getaway or have other good comparisons! E.g. sophisticated places are able to acknowledge if a person is dressed appropriately without judging guests on specific features like collars (I had to laugh at the comment of the gentleman with the designer T-shirt, but no collar who got refused to the restaurant – well that will teach him to next time shop at a Big Box store for collared shirts, if he wants to be accepted as a decent guest). But it’s for hygienic purposes the response of the manager said! But womwn are allowed what ever! LOL!
After a nice and relaxing holiday one is way more inclined to extend the great memories by writing a comment. That’s why the majority of the comments you will find are good. The other group usually wants to forget about the experience and not waste more time on something they want to forget and move on. Therefore you won’t find many negative comments, although we overheard several complaints while vacationing there. And if they indeed do write about it, management at Amber Now will be responding with some interesting and plausible explanations and a standard remark, that their clarifications hopefully will bring the not so happy guest back (or at least minimize concerns of potential guests reading the comment) As said we have never before written a review, but this time we did, in the hope that you have a chance to verify some things more careful if you are looking for that ‘special’ get-away. Enjoy your holidays!

Room Tip: Standard tower rooms have full Ocean views, preferred tower suites are not as good! The Master Suit...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Regina, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2013

The service is top notch! The staff make you really feel important and genuinely have your interests in mind. The food is amazing. The view from your room, lobbies and pool areas are perfect.
Nice gym and an awesome spa. if you go plan to spend an afternoon there, well worth the money! We had an excellent time here and will go back in a heart beat.
It's location in the city is quite convenient, very close to the boardwalk and many other spots. Very safe and in fact you see a lot of retired Canadians/Americans wandering around the streets.
I could go on and on about this hotel. Just book it and you will not regret it!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamilton, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2013

Best resort we have stayed at so far. Superb new facility. Staff were awesome, genuinely friendly, not outrightly waiting around for tips like at some places. Great location, within walking distance to town, weather was perfect hot but not humid, nice cooler breezes at night. What more can you ask for?
Only complaints that keep me from 5 star rating was the room turndown service was sporatic even after mentioning it to the front desk, never knew when the room would be cleaned up.
Castaways grill should not heat up the food and leave it sitting under warming covers for hours. Heat it as ordered. It was not that busy. I prefer hot food.
2x times my wife ordered a fish dish in the sitdown part and both times the fish was delivered almost raw.

Room Tip: All are ocean view, No need for prefered club as I cannot see what more they could provide. Never on...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Now Amber Puerto Vallarta

Address: David Alfaro Sisqueiros 164 | Col. Zona Hotelera Las Glorias, Puerto Vallarta 48333, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Jalisco > Puerto Vallarta
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 120 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Now Amber Puerto Vallarta 4.5*
Number of rooms: 327
Reservation Options:
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